On “Toning Up”

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[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]I hope you will welcome Miz, one of the first guest bloggers here at Pepper Scraps. She is posting on Weigh in Wednesday about her view of herself and her goals of eating better but also loving herself! I’m sure you enjoy her post as much as I did!

– Love Pepper[/box]

Ok ladies. I think I can safely say the majority of us have a little issue about the way we look. If we have blonde hair we want brown. If we have big boobs we complain about wanting them smaller. And there’s not a lady in my life that doesn’t want to lose a little weight. Most of my friends call it “toning up” or “wanting to get fitter”. No one actually says what they mean to. Then there are the women who want to lose that last 10lbs, for the summer.

I’ve been on a downer about my weight for years. In that time I’ve been skinny, fat, and somewhere in between. Those identifiers mean different things to different people, but to me skinny was a UK size 10 (US size 6), fat was UK size 18 (US size 14). At my happiest, I was a UK size 12 (US size 8). I was curvy, fit and healthy. I rocked vintage clothes and could dance the night away with merry abandon. But even then, without realising I was happy with my weight, I felt I had to lose “those last 10lbs”. There has never been a time when I didn’t pressure myself to “tone up”. Blame whatever you want, the fashion industry, peer pressure, or a woman’s inevitable urge to put herself down – but I know I’ve never not felt the need to be something I’m not at that particular point.

 

I needed to change the way I view my health. Right now, there are many reasons I should lose weight. Yep, I need to lose weight. I’m not dressing it as toning up. I need to face facts here. I’m 27 year old, UK size 16 (US size 12) and I have back issues, not helped by the extra bulk I carry. I can’t dance with merry abandon anymore. My vintage dresses are in storage. Thing is, I’m constantly told I carry my weight well. It’s the most insulting compliment I receive. It’s an admission that I’m carrying extra weight. It says I don’t look as bad as “other fat people”. It’s still judgement. The worst thing is, I said to myself too!

So yeah, change. Like I said before, weight and size mean different things to different people. I know I never want to be less than a UK size 12 (US size 8), I know I look ridiculous smaller, since there’s two quite big parts of my body that stay the same size no matter what size I am. I have no desire to be a Playboy bunny! But that’s *my* goal. There is at least one woman out there who would love to get to the size I am now. It’s all relative. Self image and weight are so closely linked that it’s hard to see the other possibilities to improve how you view yourself. If you make weight loss your only focus, what happens next? Do you go straight to loving your new shape, or do you stay in that mindset of trying to achieve the perfect figure long after you’ve already achieved what’s right for you?

So I stand in front of a mirror. I look at myself, hard. It was difficult at first. It’s appallingly easy to cut straight to the negative points. My stomach hangs. Damn cellulite. I hate my knees!

Stop.

Enough.

I love my hair. My boobs remain optimistically perky considering their size. I know I’ve got shapely and, sometimes, on good day, quite lovely legs. My body is my best visual aid to my history. Every lump and bump tells a story. I’m not trying to erase that, but start a new chapter. Now when I stand in front of a mirror, I tend to like what I see. On a good day, I even like my bum!

Since I’ve started seeing my body as my greatest achievement, I’ve started treating it better. I drink more water because I like the way it makes my skin look. I eat more fruit because it tastes fantastic and I get a natural sugar rush. I slather myself in beautiful smelling lotions and I give myself mani/pedis. I don’t even miss chips (that much, I’m only human!). I only eat dark chocolate now, on occasion, and I’ve developed a taste for it. I’ve never had a sweet tooth before! I’ve started walking, everywhere. Even if there’s no destination in mind, I love nothing more than plugging music in my ears, tying my laces and power walking for an hour, all by myself. I don’t see it as exercise, but a treat.

I’ve lost more weight, consistently, since this change. I didn’t realise that I’d change my body by simply loving it more. In fact, I think I’m using the wrong word here. My body isn’t changing, really, but evolving into something that this time, I’ll appreciate. The back pain is easing off, and soon I’ll be digging out those vintage dresses and dancing the night away with merry abandon.

Care to join me?

17 Comments

    • JuniperJupiter
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